North Korea’s state media on Wednesday rejected the idea that international sanctions or other pressure led to an easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, saying it is the result of the country’s strength and confidence.
“The great change in the North-South relations is not an accidental one but a noble fruition made thanks to (North Korea’s) proactive measure, warm compatriotism and will for defending peace,” the commentary said.
The peace initiative "is an expression of (North Koreas) self-confidence," it said.
The editorial commentary, which was carried by the Korean Central News Agency, was one of the few times the government-controlled media has made reference to a new easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The commentary did not make direct reference to proposed talks between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The editorial was toughly worded but stopped well short of some of the vitriol of previous North Korea propaganda. It also seemed more directed at analysts and former officials than the White House or U.S. government.
The commentary aims to counter a narrative in the West that North Korea was pressured into agreeing to talks, said Michael Madden, an analyst at the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
“Such rubbish as ‘result of sanctions and pressure’ … spread by the hostile forces is just as meaningless as a dog barking at the moon,” the commentary said.
“It is really an expression of small-mindedness for the riff-raffs to spoil the atmosphere and say this or that even before the parties concerned are given a chance to study the inner thoughts of the other side and are seated at a negotiating table,” the editorial said.
Officially, the North Korean government has not commented publicly on the proposed talks.
“We do like to remind that it is time for all to approach everything with prudence with self-control and patience,” the editorial counseled.
Trump and Kim have agreed to a meeting before the end of May, though details of where and when have not been settled. It would be the first meeting between a U.S. president and a leader of the reclusive nation.
Officials have made progress toward holding the talks. Delegates from North and South Korea and the United States met this week in Finland to discuss issues ahead of the proposed summit.
South and North Korean officials are pressing ahead with preparations for a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim in April. The meeting will set the stage for talks between Kim and Trump.